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Updated Rabies spreads in remote areas of Bali and Java in 2019

Rabies or mad dog disease is an acute infectious disease in the mammalian nervous system (including humans) caused by the rabies virus.

This disease is very deadly and is zoonotic or transmitted from animals to humans. Transmission occurs due to virus particles in the saliva of infected animals that enter the human body or sensitive animals, for example through bites. Animals that transmit rabies include dogs, cats, monkeys, raccoons, and bats. More than 99% of human deaths from rabies are caused by dog bites. Rabies is caused by the rabies virus classified in the Negarnaviricota phylum, the Monjiviricetes class, the order Mononegavirales, the Rhabdoviridae family, and the genus Lyssavirus. These viruses are grouped in group V in the Baltimore classification system, which is a single stranded RNA virus with a negative sense. Rhabdoviridae characters are envelopes, bullet shaped, and have a length of 180 nm and a diameter of 75 nm.

Dogs are one of the main sources of spread of rabies, which until now has no cure. As many as 98 percent of rabies suffered by humans, caused by dog bites on the body containing a virus that can cause acute infections in the central nervous system. The rest, caused by monkeys and cats.

A dog suffering from rabies will turn aggressive and no longer recognize its employer. He will attack anything and anyone near him. Usually physically, the dog looks thin and lacks nutrition. In general, humans affected by rabies will show symptoms of fever, nausea, pain in the throat, anxiety, fear of water, fear of light and excessive saliva production. Every rabies dog bite case must be treated as soon as possible.

Efforts that have so far been effective, wash the wounded area with soap and running water. After that, it is rubbed with alcohol or antiseptic drugs. In connection with the handling of rabies, Indonesia along with nine other countries have signed the ASEAN Declaration on Rabies Free in 2020. The declaration was made in Laos, in September 2012, when the 34th ASEAN Minister of Agriculture and Forestry was conducted.

The declaration was made considering the highest incidence of human death due to rabies endemic in Asia, up to 60 percent. While ranked second in Africa with 36 percent. Based on data from the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, around 160 people die every day and around 59,000 people die every year due to the deadly disease. In Indonesia, from 34 provinces, there are 24 provinces that are endemic to rabies.

While nine provinces are free of rabies, namely Papua, West Papua, West Nusa Tenggara, East Java, Yogyakarta, Central Java, DKI Jakarta, Riau Islands and Bangka Belitung. Based on data from the Ministry of Health, rabies-borne animal (GHPR) bite cases have continued to rise since 2009. The peak in 2012 was 84,750 cases. The following year, 15,614 cases were reduced, to 69,136 cases. And continues to decline in 2014 to 42,958 cases. While positive cases of rabies which resulted in death or Lyssa, peaked in 2010, which was 206 people. The decline continues, until in 2014 recorded the number of deaths as many as 81 people. The province which was rabies positive and had the highest death rate in North Sulawesi was 22 people. Following West Kalimantan with 13 people, West Sumatra with 8 people, and at least North Sumatra with 4 people.

Until June, positive cases of rabies in Bali in dogs recorded 115 cases. The highest number occurred in Karangasem Regency with 32 cases, Bangli with 26 cases and Buleleng with 16 cases.Therefore these three districts enter the red zone for rabies cases in Bali. While for the green zone or not found cases more than a year are the City of Denpasar and Nusa Penida.

The high number of rabies positive cases in dogs in the districts of Bangli, Karangasem and Buleleng said there are many factors that influence Mardiana.

First the vaccination target is less than 90 percent. The low vaccination coverage is due to the hilly topography of the three districts, making it difficult for officers to catch stray dogs or be left to be vaccinated. Secondly, public awareness to maintain their dogs properly such as binding and holding them is still low.

Most of the dog population is still left so vulnerable to the rabies virus. While for Denpasar, which is included in the green zone or there have been no cases for more than one year, due to vaccination coverage above 90 percent, many people are also aware of not letting their pet dogs. “It is hoped that later all communities in Bali will have the awareness not to let their dogs go and routinely provide vaccines.

Regarding the awareness of the Balinese people not to let their dogs in general turn out to be still quite low. From the predicted population of dogs in 2019 as many as 579,000 tails, it turns out that 70 percent of them include pet dogs that are left by their owners, 15 percent are wild dogs and only 15 percent are maintained properly in the sense of not being let go. Therefore, in addition to continuing to provide education to the public not to let their dogs go, in 2019 the Provincial Office of Animal Husbandry and Animal Health also increased the target of mass vaccination. If the target was 70 percent of the population prediction, in 2019 this would be 95 percent.

After the mass vaccination ends, the next step taken is a surveillance step, in the form of blood tests for dogs that have been vaccinated to determine their immune system against rabies after being vaccinated. Bali has not been free of rabies for 11 years. The requirement for rabies itself is that for two years in a row there must be no positive cases in both dogs and humans. However, throughout the 11 years, positive cases in dogs continue to be found. Therefore, in order for Bali to be free of rabies, it is hoped that cooperation from the public, especially its awareness not to let the dogs go and routinely vaccinate their dogs.

If you have a female dog and have children, even if the mother has been vaccinated, her children should be vaccinated immediately when she is two months old. Because, most positive cases of rabies from puppies that have not been vaccinated. In addition, if you are not able to keep dogs, do not be thrown away like in markets, graves and beaches. It would be better to report the presence of this unwanted dog to the Provincial and Regency / City Animal Husbandry Service. From there, the Service will forward these dogs to shelters which concentrate on unwanted dogs. The dog shelter is already in Badung, Karangasem and Tabanan. When selling or buying a dog, make sure the dog has been vaccinated. Thus preventing the spread of rabies virus between districts / cities.